Uber is parting ways with its chief operating officer and chief marketing officer less than a month after the company’s rocky stock market debut.
CEO Dara Khosrowshahi told employees in an email Friday that he planned to be more involved in day-to-day operations now that the initial public offering of stock has passed. He said Barney Harford, the chief operating officer and Rebecca Messina, the chief marketing officer, would be leaving.
“There’s never really a right time to announce departures or changes like this, but with the IPO behind us, I felt this was a good moment to simplify our org and set us up for the future,” Khosrowshahi said in an email to employees, as seen by The Washington Post.
The heads of the company’s global rides and food-delivery teams will now report directly to Khosrowshahi. The CEO also said he planned on combining the marketing, communications and policy teams.
"It's increasingly clear that it's crucial for us to have a consistent, unified narrative to consumers, partners, the press and policymakers," he said.
Harford thanked Khosrowshahi in a tweet Friday.
“Thank you Dara Khosrowshahi for the opportunity over the last couple of years, and thank you to the broader team Uber for being such an incredible & inspirational team to work with,” Harford wrote. “It’s been an honor.”
The San-Francisco based company’s stock has struggled since its initial public offering last month. The company posted strong revenue growth in its first quarter as a public company, but also $1 billion in losses. The stock closed Friday down 76 cents, or 1.7%, at $44.16. It went public at $45 a share.
Harford was appointed to COO in December 2017. However, Harford ran into some trouble in the position after he was accused of making racially insensitive comments, The Washington Post reported. An investigation was launched by Uber last summer. Harford vowed to undergo sensitivity training. Uber spokesman Noah Edwardsen told The Washington Post that Harford’s departure was not related to the probe.
Messina was hired by Uber last year. Khosrowshahi announced Jill Hazelbaker, the company’s senior vice president of policy and communications, was promoted.
“Our brand continues to be challenged,” Khosrowshahi said in the email.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.